A set of fibreglass reindeer, complete with sleigh, had parked themselves on the lawn of the front garden. Outside, Bernard was placing food on the bird table in front of the window. Inside, Albert exited his room and prepared, walking frame in hand, for the arduous journey along the corridor. He walked slowly and deliberately. In the vast, well-lit day room, a tall, traditionally-decorated Christmas tree occupied pride of place beside the entrance.
Some of the residents were reading, some talking, some laughing and joking, while three female nursing assistants cared for them. One was helping a woman named Joan to rest, another was handing out cups of tea, and the other was helping a lady with a jigsaw at a table. How many pieces is it? Five hundred or one hundred? My daughter brought it for me. As the nurse uttered those words, an explosion rang out. Debris flew through the air as if in slow motion, searing its way through the building and scattering the garden and open plan lawns of adjoining houses. A few neighbours started to appear in the street, running to the scene in disbelief.
Screams came from within the home. Nurses began to exit from a side door with bloodstained elderly residents, and the neighbours closed in to help, passing the decapitated body.
As the survivors emerged, they could hear sirens approaching, intermingled with a symphony of alarms from the home and nearby cars. Two people had died, seven were seriously injured and twenty-three suffered minor injuries. A short while later, a small, well-placed camera fixed high up on a lamppost recorded images of the uniformed police officers arriving with their plain-clothed colleagues.
A pair of hands expertly worked across a keyboard in front of three monitors. The view changed rapidly from screen to screen. Fingers controlled keys, a hand controlled the mouse and zoomed in on faces, taking snapshots of those of the plain-clothed police. The facial images were placed on a screen and a search initiated. The screens showed a scan of the facial profiles of the investigating officers, stopping occasionally when a match was made.
The results were saved. Sharon, a medical secretary, was going about her work when a porter arrived at her desk with his trolley full of mail. He handed her a bunch of letters and a small parcel, then departed, leaving Sharon to deal with the mail for the day. Her screams echoed throughout the hospital and staff ran to her aid. Her left hand was severely mutilated and her body suffered multiple wounds from fish hooks and razor blades. Well-wrapped and excited school children boarded a steam train with their three female teachers.
The railway man waved his flag and the train slowly left the pristine platform, gradually picking up speed. On board, the thrilled children listened to their teacher. Some were staring out of the windows onto the moistened meadows and fields; some were playing clapping games; some were singing. After about thirty minutes, they settled down. The train was now at speed, bellowing steam as it passed through an area of woodland with tall spruce pines either side of the track. It slowed as the line started to incline gently.
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Two large trees toppled and struck the end of the rearmost carriage. The train jolted but continued at a slower speed for a short while.
Passengers were thrown around the carriage like ragdolls, screaming and shouting. The train ground to a halt. A young female teacher got to her feet and headed for the door.
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In a line, now. Go and stand over by that fence. Trudy comforted some crying children as the young teacher boarded the train again. There were no significant injuries, and most of the ones suffered were nothing more than bumps and bruises. It could have been a lot worse. Hundreds of people are going to the hospital with similar flu-like symptoms—and dozens have died.
The sixteen-year-old has been suspended for writing a violent story about a bat-wielding teen who beats his best friend to death over a girl. Promise Falls is a broken town.
No jobs. No prospects.
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Which means reporter David Harwood is unemployed. And what this baby has to do with a vicious murder on the other side of town. Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. She watches the news for stories of missing people, then waits a few days and goes to see the family. Saw Apocolypse Now. Went to amazing weddings in Upstate New York.
Drank a ridiculous amount of milk. Learned how to make sand art. Saw a great light show. Saw the Angels and Lakers. Fell in love with Jawbone Up. Cooked with Jaime. Gardened with Jaime. Watched Homeland with Jaime. Wrestled with Jaime. Laughed for hours with Jaime. Worked on a play. Played World of Warcraft. Did some improv. Played a ton of the guitar. Really just had a wild, amazing year. What a world. By the time I finished reading, I realized that my non-phone hand was clutching tightly to my forehead, forcefully scrunching my forehead skin together.
But instead of distancing myself from the horror, I soaked in it. I read it again and again, fascinated by how something could be so aggressively unappealing. It comes down to a pretty simple rule:. A Facebook status is annoying if it primarily serves the author and does nothing positive for anyone reading it. To be not annoying, a Facebook status typically has to be one of two things:.